The Lee County Women's Tennis League (LCWTL) has 15 divisions offering anyone who wants to play fun, competitive tennis the opportunity to do so. Eight of the divisions are adult (18+) rated without additional age restrictions, and seven of the divisions are for senior players (50+).
Over 210 teams (110 rated, 101 senior) played in the LCWTL during the 2015-16 league season, and although I am not sure about overlap, I imagine that over 2000 women played in the LCWTL last season. As the numbers grow and players' ratings move up and down, the challenge remains to organize players into divisions that create the fairest and most enhancing competitive environment for all players.
In efforts to provide as many competitive opportunities as possible for its members, the League provided imbalanced schedules in some divisions. Such schedules resulted in some teams played more matches than others, some teams playing each other more than other teams, etc. As a result and in efforts to be fair, League Champions were determined by the percentage of available points won, rather than total number of points won. I'll include both and more in most instances below.
LCWTL Rated Divisions
Dynamo Division (4.5)
|Captain Wendy Hechler, Sharon Schneider & Maria Coleman |
of Paseo Poachers 2015-16 Dynamo Champs
Cypress Lake TuTus (CLTT- 287, 61.3%) took the second spot
|Candy Hilliker and Carla Murray, members of |
Cypress Lake Dynamo teams
|Jan Wheeler & Dottie Nurrenbern of Park Meadow Dynamos|
Gulf Harbour will be entering the quest for Dynamo dominance in 2016-17 after taking a hiatus last season. That will bring the Division up to eight teams from seven and bring the matches up from 18 to 21. The battle begins on October 18.
|Gulf Harbour 2015-16 4.0 Champions|
But they were not invincible. Landings 4Love (350, 64.1%)
|Members of 2015-16 Landings 4Love|
2nd-place 4.0 Team
The battle for third was obviously close, since Bonita Bay Club and Cape Coral Yacht Club (CCYC) tied for third with 315 points and 60.5% of the available points. If we look at points won in individual team matches CCYC lost just five times in 20 team matches, and split the four courts in two of those matches. Interestingly enough, CCYC did not lose to any of the teams ranked above them in the standings.
The above results made we want to take a deeper look at this division, because as it was with the Senior Cobalt Division and a few others, the imbalanced schedule made it difficult to understand which team really was the strongest. Although second-place L4L beat Division Champs Gulf Harbour twice, they had just one win in four tries against the other three teams in the top five.
While CCYC finished tied for third with BB, they suffered no losses to the other top-five teams, going 5-0 against them, including two victories over BB and one win over the other three teams. BB actually lost four of the five matches played against the other top-five teams, beating only L4L in their one matchup. Fifth-place CCRC posted wins against L4L and BB but struggled against GH and CCYC.
Making things even more interesting was the fact that sixth-place FMRC had wins against four of the top five teams, failing to post a victory only against CCRC in their one meeting. FMRC won a match and lost a match against both CCYC and BB, and won their only matchups against GH and L4L. On the other hand, FMRC lost both matches against Heritage Palms, a team that finished 12th of 15 teams, and lost each of their matches against the two teams that finished 14th and 15th. Geez! Which team is the best in this division?
If we examine the winning percentages only against the top six teams, CCYC was 100%; GH, L4L, and FMRC were 50%; CCRC posted 33%; and BB won 20% of its matches against the top teams. As I looked at wins and losses, I noted that Paseo, the seventh-place finisher, had posted wins against the top teams as well, so I included them in the subsequent analysis.
If we look at total head-to-head matchups, CCYC comes out on top with a win-loss record of 7-2, which is a 78% winning percentage. CCYC scored more points than the other teams that finished among the top seven teams seven of the nine times they played such a team. No other team was close to that head-to-head winning percentage.
GH (4-4), L4L (4-4) were next closest with 50% win rates, FMRC (4-4-1) came in at 44%, CCRC (3-5) was next with a win percentage of 38%, while Paseo (3-4-2) and BB (3-5-1) closed out the top seven with 33% match-winning percentages. You may have noted that FMRC won and lost as many matches as GH & L4L, but the additional match (a tie) lowered their win percentage.
Given that the LCWTL chose to determine Division Winners by percentage of available points won, I also took a look at this metric as well only among the top seven teams. CCYC (140/234) emerged with the best percentage here as well, claiming 59.8% of the points available in the nine matches they played amongst this group.
GH (123/208) took second best on this measure, taking 59.1% of the available points in the eight matches against the other members of the top seven. FMRC (130/234) posted the next best percentage with 55.6%). L4L (109/208, 52.4%), Paseo (107/234, 45.7%), BB (91/234, 38.9%), and CCRC (80/208, 38.5%) rounded out the top seven when we looked at available points won.
But why stop there? I’m obviously going overboard with this, so let’s look at one more measure. Each team match is comprised of four individual matches, so I looked at how each fared against the other top teams in terms of percentage of individual matches won (percentages are rounded up). GH posted the strongest number here, winning 19 of 32 matches for 59%. CCYC and FMRC were tied for second on this measure winning 20 of 36 matches for 56%. L4L led the rest of the group on this metric, winning 17 of 32 matches for 53%. CCYC (20/36, 50%), Paseo (17/36, 47%), CCRC (13/32, 41%), and BB (14/36, 39%) completed the order.
By now you are probably thoroughly confused, and I wouldn't blame you. However, CCYC was first on all but one measure and no worse than second. GH was second on most measures and first on the only measure where CCYC wasn't. By my analysis, the top five teams in the Division, in order, would be CCYC, GH, FMRC, L4L, and Paseo.
This coming season's schedule is apparently based upon the results of last season, and I can't wait to see how things work out. Gulf Harbour, Pelican Preserve, Fiddlesticks, and Beachview are out of the mix in 2016-17, but Heron's Glen and Sundial have joined the fray, so the Division count is 13 teams. The top seven remaining teams from last season will play 18 matches, and the other six teams will play 17 matches. October 20 is the first match for the 4.0 ladies.
|Members of Fort Myers Racquet Club's |
2015-16 4.0-Minus Championship team
Once again, though, there was a significant difference between the strength of schedule Verandah played and those played by the other teams among the top five finishers. Verandah only played four teams that finished among the top five, while the other four teams played seven teams among the top five in the standings. If we look at records of individual matches played amongst the five, we see that FMRC was the runaway winner with a 23-5 record (82%), while the nearest competitor was Del Tura with a 13-15 record for 46%.
Using the number of courts won and lost among the top five teams, Cypress Lake Country Club (CLCC), fourth in League standings, would emerge as the third best team with 12-16 (43%) record. Verandah would be the fourth best team with a 6-10 (38%) ledger. CCRC would remain the fifth-place team with a 10-18 (36%) record.
Although a closer look suggests that FMRC was dominant, at initial glance, there was the appearance of parity in this division, at least among the top five teams. Teams 1 - 5 were separated by a mere 46 points, which meant that every match counted down the stretch. Division Winner, Fort Myers Racquet Club (FMRC) had to play well to hold off second-place finisher Verandah, which posted three sweeps and three matches with wins on three of four courts. FMRC took three of four courts in three of their final five matches, and swept the final two to claim the Division title.
Del Tura finished just nine points behind Verandah to claim third, and it was their misfortune to have to play FMRC in their final match. As noted above, FMRC swept that match, but they needed two match-tiebreaks to do so.
Although this division had an unbalanced schedule as well, all teaThe 4.0-Minus Division will add three teams to their rosters, bringing the total to 17 and eliminating the need for an imbalanced schedule. It should be much easier to determine the top team at the end of next season. FMRC will be returning to defend their title, and Verandah will also field a team, but Del Tura has bowed out of the Division this coming season. Matches don't begin until November 7 for this group.
As much as I would love to do a full analysis of every division with an imbalanced schedule, time and energy won’t allow it, so I’ll do as much as I can. Initial review of the competition among the top five teams in this division indicates that the Heritage Palms Dare Doubles (HPDD) were the convincing champions of the Division.
The Dare Doubles didn’t lose a match until the final match of the season when they were too far in front for anyone to catch them, and only split the four courts two other times. Their 20-1-1 (91%) record with 10 sweeps made them the another of the most dominant teams statistically in the entire LCWTL. HPDD won 83.2% of the available points in the 22 matches they played, and won at least three of four courts each time they played against the other teams that finished in the top five.
CCRC won 73.2% of available points and posted winning scores in 16 of their 22 team matches to take the second spot in the Division. They only came up short against two teams that finished out of the top five and those two teams were top ten teams. Lexington was the third-place team with 67.6% of available points claimed.
With 16 teams and 22 matches in 2015-16, the 3.5 Division was imbalanced as well. However, the Division is fielding 12 teams this time around, so each team will play every other team twice. Gotta love that! Lexington will no longer field a team in this division, but the top two teams will return. The Dare Doubles are now the Double Dares. They all take to the courts for their first matches on October 11.
3.5- Minus Division
|Members of Gulf Harbour 2015-16 3.5-Minus |
2nd-place Net Assets
Gulf Harbour NetAssets (GHNA) claimed the second spot with 304 points and 73% of the points available. The NetAssets lost once all season and that was to the No.6 team Renaissance. The Landings were third in the Division winning 69.7% of available points and a 290-point total.
|Hideaway Country Club 2015-16 3.5-Minus Team|
Jumping up to 23 teams from the 17 of last season, the 3.5-Minus women will be pleased to note that they will have 22 matches instead of the 16 they played in 2015-16. They begin play October 12. Again, all three teams that finished atop the standings will return to the Division for 2016-17.
Gulf Harbour Racquettes (GHR) only had two losses, and won 72.1% of the available points in 17 matches on their way to the 3.0 Division title. Both of those losses came to teams who finished among the top five so no shame for those losses. One of those teams, Legends, earned the second slot in the standings taking 66.2% of available points in its matches.
Pelican Preserve (PP) finished third and did all it could to catch Legends in the last match of the season. Finishing with 66% of available points and 292 points, PP fell just one point short, despite sweeping Herons Glen in the final match. Had legends taken fewer than three courts in its final match, PP’s heroic effort might have carried the day.
This may have been the division with the closest race at the top, as only 36 points separated the top five teams. Things are likely to be just as competitive next season as the Division remains relatively unchanged. There will be 17 teams contesting the Division as opposed to the 18 that took to the courts in 2015-16, and play opens on October 31.
|Hideaway Country Club's 2015-16 3.0-Minus Team |
Although Sundial, Lexington and The Hideaway won't be contesting the Division this coming season, Cross Creek Estates is adding an additional team, and Verandah and FMRC (displaced Hideaway players) are joining the Division. Once again 11 teams will compete for the 3.0-Minus title. The 3.0-Minus Division begins play this week, October 6! Wow! Season is here.
Gulf Harbour (GH) could be considered a dynasty in the 2.5 Division and they performed as such last season. GH posted a record of 19-1-2, which is an 86% winning percentage! Using the available points system, GH took 80.4% of available points and with 460 total points, eclipsing second place Breckenridge (349, 61%) by over 100 actual and almost 20 percentage points.
Breckenridge needed a good final match to stave off a charge from Landings Wildfire (LW, 340, 59.4%). The ladies of Breckenridge took three courts from Plantation and posted 21 points in that last match, to edge LW by nine total points and fewer than two percentage points. LW took 12 points in their final match against their sister team Landings SweetShots, and that kept them a mere four points ahead of fourth-place Lexington AlleyShots (336, 58.7%).
Lexington will be down to one 2.5 team instead of the two they fielded last season, but Heritage Palms has added two teams to bring the total to 13, up one from the 12 that competed in 2015-16. All three of the top teams will return this coming season, and play begins October 25.
Before I go, and not that you care, but my favorite team name emerged from this division? Legends StringCourtettes. How creative is that? I must admist Gulf Harbour's 3.5-Minus NetAssets and 3.5 RacqPacq, along with Cypress Lake's Dynamo Servivors were also in the running, String Courtettes definitely tickled my fancy.
Phew! That wraps up my wrap up of the rated divisions. If you aren't already dizzy and care to see what transpired in the senior divisions, click here or return to the list of blog posts. Let's have another tremendous LCWTL season everyone! Game, set, match...T. A.